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Police warn of scams when buying second-hand goods online

POLICE urge people buying second-hand goods online to be wary of a proliferation of scams in the lead-up to Christmas.

The warning follows a case in Hawke's Bay where a man used fake profiles to “sell” a caravan on Facebook Marketplace, with the person purchasing it depositing the money into a third party's account.

Police said people throughout the North Island have lost large quantities of money that have not been recovered.

Detective Constable Sharon Codyre said Eastern District police have received numerous reports of people being taken advantage of, usually when paying for goods they have not viewed.

“Our advice is to never take a seller for their word, no matter how legitimate they may sound.

“Do some research about them first and see if their claims stack up,” Det Const Codyre said.

Police encourage people to take some basic precautions when buying online.

“Trust your instincts — if it's too good to be true, it probably is.”